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University Rover Challenge Welcomes Protocase, Inc. and Record Field of Teams

posted Jan 8, 2015, 7:29 PM by Kevin Sloan

The Mars Society's University Rover Challenge (URC) is excited to announce a new partner, Protocase, Inc., a world leader in custom electronic enclosures and sheet metal parts.  This announcement comes just weeks after registration for URC2015 closed with a record 44 teams from eight countries on six continents.

The unique sponsorship deal with Protocase will be the first ever that provides products and services to every single team registered in the competition.  Each URC team will receive a $2,000 (USD) credit towards custom parts manufactured by Protocase, and a subsequent 50% discount on all products/services beyond this amount.

As a manufacturer of customer-designed components, Protocase works with Computer Aided Design (CAD) models supplied directly by the customer. URC teams will be required to attend a virtual "webinar" hosted by Protocase that describes the design requirements, and explains their process in detail. Details regarding this webinar will be sent to teams at a later time, and will be available both live, and in an archived format.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for teams," noted Kevin Sloan, URC Director.  "As teams conceive increasingly innovative rover designs, they will need to leverage similarly novel manufacturing methods.  Being able to supplement students' in-house production capabilities with niche, custom production from vendors like Protocase will be a huge benefit to the students and the level of technology demonstrated at URC."

For URC2015, teams design and build next-generation rovers able to support astronauts on future human missions to Mars.  These rovers are required to conduct extensive scientific investigations, navigate arduous desert terrain, and conduct mission support roles such as servicing equipment and delivering tools to astronauts.  The final field competition will be held May 28-30 at the Mars Desert Research Station in remote southern Utah.

“Partnering with URC2015 is a perfect fit for Protocase, since we work with talented innovators on a daily basis” says Dr. Doug Milburn, company co-founder and VP of Sales and Marketing. “For the first time ever, the participating URC teams can count on our team to create professional-grade components that are customized to their exact needs, without encountering significant financial roadblocks.”  

About URC (http://urc.marssociety.org)
A program of The Mars Society, URC is the world's premier robotics competition for college students.  Founded in 2006, it challenges the world's brightest young minds to develop the next generation of Mars rovers - ones intended to support astronauts on future human missions to the Red Planet.  Each year teams and their rovers travel to the unique Mars-like terrain of southern Utah to tackle complex tasks, and crown a new champion.  Now in its ninth year, URC has engaged more than 140 team from around the world, and has helped to prepare a new generation to tackle challenges that are "out of this world!" 

About Protocase, Inc. (http://www.protocase.com)
Engineers and designers throughout North America and internationally recognize Protocase as a world-class facility that manufactures custom electronic enclosures, sheet metal parts, machined parts and components in two to three days, with no minimum orders. Founded in 1999, Protocase works with customers in science, engineering and innovation to fine-tune their designs to their exact needs before manufacturing all aspects of the product within the company’s cutting-edge production facility. Protocase customizes all designs according to customers’ specifications, including their choice of fasteners, hardware, welding, powdercoating, silkscreening and more. Protocase is the simplest, fastest solution to turn ideas into reality.